A Look at the Latest and Greatest Car Tech

Cars have become so much more than transportation. They are technology wonders that offer not just performance and a smooth ride, but are now a safety fortress and a travelling office. So what is the hottest, newest technological feature in today’s new cars?

Photo Source: Sportscar Workshops w/CC license

It Takes a Spark

Remember the spark plug? It’s a perfect wonder of technology that really is the linchpin to any combustion engine. Much like the mouse trap, the goal has been to build one better, and Champion finally has.

With all the more aerated fuels and economy engines, the ability to spark has been severely diminished. But no more. The Corona ignition uses plasma technology to emit high energy to its four tips, causing the combustion needed and much more force than its predecessor’s tiny spark.

Photo Source: MSVG w/CC license

More Power, Less Energy

The spark is just the start. Now you’ll be able to get more bang for your buck with fewer cylinders and more power. Both Ford and GM are unveiling a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder car, and other giants like BMW and Mercedes are trading in their giant engines for smaller equivalents with similar performance.

Speaking of more performance, remember when 5-speed transmissions were cool? Now you can get 7- and 8-speeds that not only scoot but offer better fuel economy. Several automakers are now using dual-clutch transmissions, which also boost gas efficiency and shift so smoothly that you barely know it’s happening.

Photo Source: Dylan Cantwell w/CC license

It’s the Little Things

It’s not just the engines and safety features that get an overhaul – it’s the compatibility, with computers and smartphones. For instance, most automakers have a model or 2 in their repertoires that includes Internet connectivity and interfacing with your smartphone. Some are even partnering with mobile phone providers, such as GM’s new agreement with LG. Taking the integration a step further, Mercedes introduced an iPhone app that will be able to control the car’s entertainment, navigation, and other functions – all from your dashboard.

While you’re fiddling with your dashboard, your safety belt has got some tricks up its buckle, too. From intelligent airbag systems to inflatable belts, these safety systems are technological wonders. There are also great features like distance control and night vision assist. See? Your car is becoming more cyborg by the minute.

Another huge boost in technology for select vehicles is Active Park Assist. Ford offers this unique method of parking that doesn’t require anything except the push of a button. Drivers don’t even need to touch the steering wheel during the process. You can see the technology in action in this video.

The technology of new cars is changing faster than the car itself can travel. Improvements in technology have also reduced the need for things like mechanical breakdown insurance. Keep an eye on the horizon and your hands on the wheel – at least until your phone can drive for you.

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